NetApp 7-mode largest best-practive volume size

What is the largest best practice volume size for a NetApp v 8.2.3x  7-Mode volume with an NFS Export?  I know that the OS will support a 72 TB volume but I seem to remember that there was a limit past which one sees performance issues.

We have FAS 3250 filers, and are running VMware 5.1 ESXI soon to be 5.5.x.

The volumes server as SANs for the VMs.
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CharlesHAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it depends on your requirements we create 500,800 and 1TB and 2TB volumes for export.

also depends if you also use SAN snapshots for recovery.

we like to keep small based on not all eggs in one basket.

if we have a requirement for super sized VMs we create a VM of required size.

we also add all these into a VMwarevDatastore cluster so SDRS puts the VM on the correct export.
CharlesHAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  we have some 18-20 TB volumes and many smaller ones currently.

I seem to remember that my former boss was working on getting the larger ones down to like 12-16 TB.

I just cannot remember what the magic number was and why it was a good idea.
gheistCommented:
We try to keep disk latency under control
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1031773

At least measure and size volumes on proper aggregates to assure 30 IOPs per VM (IOPs is per aggregate)
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robocatCommented:
You're likely to have some practical concerns before you run into technical limits.

E.g. how do you perform backups?

Very large volumes may be impractical to backup depending on your backup environment. Say you do this using snapvault, then a baseline transfer may not finish in a reasonable amount of time.

Perhaps you want different snapvault/snapshot schedules for different types of VM? Also a reason to split between different volumes.

Also think about volume restore times in case you loose a volume (which doesn't happen often but what if you do?).

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gheistCommented:
Snapshots are very fast with VAAI NFS vmx-09+
They are not slow because of disk size, but because of intense IO in VM (and competing for IOPs)
CharlesHAuthor Commented:
I am closing this as I did not really find the answer that I was looking for.

But you all made some excellent points.

Thank you

and "Points!"
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